ROCHESTER, Minn.- On Tuesday, Mattel, the creators of Barbie, launched seventeen new dolls in honor of International Women's Day. The dolls are designed after notable women breaking boundaries in their career fields.
Three of the new dolls resemble prominent female historic figures: Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist and activist; Katherine Johnson, African American NASA mathematician; and Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. These dolls are the beginning of a new line of Barbies call Inspiring Women. Mattel says they plan to add more dolls to the collection.
The other 14 dolls were added to the company's Shero collection launched in 2015. U.S. Olympian Chloe Kim and plus-size model Ashley Graham are two of the dolls in the line-up. The other Shero dolls include modern female role models such as conservationalists, actresses, journalists, entrepreneurs, and athletes from all over the world.
Rochester resident Linda Wetzel is a mother, grandmother, and retired teacher. She says that while she has been careful not to introduce Barbies too early to her children and grandchildren because of the unattainable image that Barbie can promote. She would consider buying one of the dolls for her grandaughter.
"It's really nice to see they are doing something that could be a learning experience for the kids, and how cool is that for the girls to relate to somebody who did something that was super positive," Wetzel said.
The new dolls are not currently in stores, but are available for pre-sale on Mattel's website.